For Anamika, 29, Delhi had been home for many decades. From her early years and right until graduation and work, she had gotten used to the many by-lanes and the sheer size of the city. When she got married to a Bengaluru-based tech professional, one of them had to make the move, and she decided it would be her.
A new city could give her a change of pace and hopefully, new opportunities. But...
Once in Bengaluru, Anamika realized that she didn’t have the contacts or connections that could help her land a job. She reached out to her professional network back home, but most opportunities began to seem like a compromise- one rung below what she’d already done. Disappointed, she wondered if she’d done the right thing after all.
Like Anamika, many women take a career break for a variety of reasons- childrearing in nuclear families, ageing family members who need support, moving to other cities or countries- the reasons are many. In today’s times, we do not expect that there will be a degree of unspoken inequality in who makes the professional sacrifice, and yet, this is the truth of millions of well-educated, experienced women.
If you find yourself in that boat, take solace in the fact that you are not alone.
However, a bend in the road is not the end of the road! A career break can be a rewarding opportunity to reconsider what you really want. Some women find that they are passionate about their past roles and want to get back into a similar field. Others may discover hitherto-hidden talents that can be monetised today.
Tips To ReStart Your Career
How do you restart? Here are a few tips to help:
1. Rekindle relationships: It takes a village to do just about anything in life. Bring your sleeping village to life! Network with your ex-colleagues and friends and find out what they are up to. They may not be able to offer opportunities immediately, but they can provide a wealth of information on current industry norms and what qualifications you can build on.
Make new friends and attend networking events in your city. Take a few hours each day to explore opportunities on professional networking platforms.
2. Explore options: Explore what you really like- take a few classes in areas you are not well-versed with. Read books on subjects you know little about. Indeed, look at new experiences not just as a professional launchpad but as a way to stimulate your thought process. You may just find a new passion or a hobby that can easily be turned into a business idea.
Some people find that stepping away from the 9-to-5 job allows them to work with more flexibility and in domains that they would never have considered before.
3. Never settle: When you find yourself in a new, rather unpleasant situation, it is a natural reaction to immediately pivot towards something that seems lucrative. This happens with us when we are on a break and are desperately looking for ways to be relevant.
However, take your time. Never do something because of the promise of what it offers, and know that every domain and position presents unique challenges. If you do not enjoy what you signed up for, it is unlikely that you will do well enough in it to succeed. This, in turn, can lead to more disappointment.
Instead, spend the time to think about what you are really good at. We recommend doing the personal SWOT analysis. Use these insights to see what path best suits your needs and current situation.
4. Invest in yourself: There is power in impressions. Whatever skill you think you lack or feel like you could use help with, make sure to take up courses to help yourself. In fact, attend a few seminars and group courses so you can build your network further. Your resume, too, needs a revamp as does your wardrobe. Ensure that your arsenal is ready to deploy when you start attending the interviews. These things can give your confidence the extra boost it needs and also show people on the other end of the table that you are committed to restarting your career. A small investment can go a long way so don't hesitate and look for an immediate return.
5. Consider ReStart Coaching: Sometimes, when stuck between a rock and a hard place, it can be impossible to consider that possibilities even exist for us. A coach can help you evaluate your options more practically. They can help you see opportunities that you may be missing, and help you set goals that align with your long-term vision for yourself.
ReStart With RainKraft
RainKraft’s ReStart Coaching Program is meant to help you navigate the challenges- professional, personal and emotional- of going on a career break. Your certified coach can motivate you, help you plan your professional path, listen to you and encourage you to pursue that which seems daunting.
Feel like you’re ready to explore coaching as an option to restart your career? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This women’s month, we’re opening up space on the RainKraft blog to publish stories of women who used a career break to pivot and try something now. Success at RainKraft is measured only by the number of smiles it brings to your face, so if you are someone who has successfully made a career transition, or gotten back to work on your terms, we’d love to feature your story. Write to us at email@example.com.